Bailey Family May 2016

Bailey Family May 2016
Bailey Family May 2016 - Big Woods

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Our home for the next 3 weeks is La Casa de Misionarios. It used to be the servants quarters to the main house next door (now owned by the city). It was built before the U.S. was a country!

We have a small bedroom that the 2 younger girls share with us. Hannah & Catherine are in the "Hen House" which used to be a stable and now houses 20 beds filled with 15 missionary girls.
There are 3 bathrooms to share and we all brush our teeth in the middle of the courtyard with bottled water.

We visited a rancho on Saturday and will be visiting many more while we are here. We invited the people to join us for a prayer meeting in the church and 2 missionaries gave their testimonies (Donovan was one of them). There were 3 other groups in different ranchos. We struggled with our Spanish phrases but I know with time and practice it will get better.

God is using this time to help us die to ourselves even more as we get used to having less than we are used to. The girls are having a blast getting to know the missionary kids who live here and some of the local children as well. They make friends very fast. Kids really do make the best missionaries!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Off to Mexico!

We are leaving this evening for Mexico. Please pray for us

* to have safe travels
* to stay healthy
* to be open to God's plan for us there
* to prepare our hearts and those of the people we are going to meet

We will be on a short-term trip until the end of November. Our access to phone and internet will be limited so we may not be able to call or go online each week. We will be taking pictures and sharing our stories with you when we return (unless we can blog while there). So check back often and remember to keep us and all of the missionaries in your daily prayers!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Cake, cake & more cake!

Lots of Bailey b-days recently! We celebrated Donovan on Nov. 1st and Felicity the next day. Donovan won his birthday cake at the Saint Cake Walk the evening before at Holyween. It was a special birthday cake from a local bakery known for amazing cakes. I didn't get a picture of the cake but here it is (in the big white box) on the cake table at Holyween.

After shaving his head to be St. Dominic for Holyween,

he shaved the rest off. I got a picture of him with the other missionary dads and our director Joseph. The shaved head thing seems to be a trend around here...

Donovan, Travis, Joseph, Dave, Eric
We started Felicity's birthday at our house with a pancake breakfast (the BEST pancakes ever) and she opened her 1 birthday present, (a doll, just like her sisters). She loved it and named it Perpetua. (Get it! Felicity & Perpetua!)

I'm 3!
Felicity had a blast Saturday evening walking around the Big House with her "new" birthday dress & her birthday doll while everyone told her "Happy Birthday Felicity"! She had lots of fun playing train with some of the missionaries. After dinner everyone sang Happy Birthday, May the Good Lord Bless You & For Shes a Jolly Good Missionary and then she blew out her candles on her a birthday spice cake with chocolate frosting & lollipops on top. Click on the link below for a super cute video of her blowing out her candles.

Saturday Brooke asked me if I could make a surprise birthday cake for Mrs. Genie Summers (founder of FMC). I was honored and very excited at the opportunity to make a cake again. I have been making cakes for 3 years and haven't had a lot of opportunities lately. I had so much fun designing and putting this cake together. I used my favorite recipe for cake (Extreme Chocolate Cake) and filled it with white chocolate cream cheese frosting and put chocolate covered pecans around the edge. They all loved it and said it was the best cake they had ever had. That compliment was such a blessing to me!

God surprises me all the time with little gifts like this. I didn't think I would have the opportunity to make a cake while in missions but he presented me an opportunity. I had just what I needed (cake pans,  4 frosting tips, some frosting bags and all the ingredients for the cake in the pantry). The one thing I didn't think I had (a frosting spreader) I had accidentally brought from home.

Thank you Jesus for such a beautiful weekend full of friends, celebration and cake! Thank you for the blessing of our life. Thank you for filling us up with your love, your grace and your mercy. Thank you for new friends and the excitement for missions. Please bless our time here and all our friends and family back home who we miss so much. Please bring them closer to you and help them to see just how much you love them and want to bless them.

Geckos & lizards and alligators, oh my!

So being in Louisiana is like entering a new culture with its own unique language and ways of doing things. There is LOTS of humidity (though that has really gotten better as it cools off) and LOTS, no TONS of mosquitoes. There are also little lizard friends that crawl into the house and geckos too. Catherine, of course, loves it when she can catch a new friend.

Another animal you may see here is an alligator. When we arrived at Big Woods it was September (alligator hunting season). We toured an alligator farm where they raise and release alligators as well as process those that have been hunted for producing food and items made from their skin. The smell was VERY strong and had a fishy smell. Grace wouldn't stop plugging her nose. We also got to see an alligator that was caught near our property (poor alligator is in the truck bed). I am happy to say that so far I have not seen a live alligator (I am happy to keep it that way)!

Louisiana is a great place to train for missions. It is entering into a new "culture" and being around weather, animals, and food you are not used to. We are learning to appreciate and be thankful for everything that we have (by giving lots away) and eating what is set before us (Luke 10:8). Which for our family (especially me) was very hard to do at first. I was used to having all the control of what my family was eating. We were trying to be healthy and make good choices. But even this God has asked me to surrender. It really has been a blessing to us. I realized that on one side of it I could be eating everything I want (healthy or not) because I want to (for pleasures sake). I didn't want to be addicted to food and feel like I couldn't say no to something (cake, chocolate, etc.). In being healthy and making better food choices I was trying to avoid this temptation for myself and my family. But on the opposite side I was letting food control me because I was so picky about what I could and couldn't eat. It made it very difficult to go to pot lucks or family gatherings because we couldn't eat what others prepared.  Food can become an idol when it takes over my time, energy and thoughts. At first it was a sacrifice to eat the food set before us at Intake and surrender my control and fear (of how the food might affect me or my family) to God. It is very good practice for missions because when we are invited to events or into peoples homes we would never want to turn down their food. We have heard story after story about missionaries going into small villages where they take the best of what they have and give it to you. There may be only 1 chicken or 3 cans of tuna left in the whole village and they will prepare it and serve it to you. It is a very humbling experience and you would never want to turn down that gift. It would be an insult to the people and would be very ungrateful. If I truly believe that God has called our family to be full-time missionaries (which I do) than I can trust that God will provide everything that my family needs, including our food and clothes.

24“No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?27And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?28And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?31Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34“So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Matthew 6:24-34

It is AMAZING how much God has provided for us since our yes to Him. 
  • The girls & I have received bags of clothing to go through (to find warm items for our Mexico trip in November)
  • I received milk and kefir grains that grow & multiply amazingly down here, providing our family with lots of healthy probiotics 
  • When we arrived at Big Woods in September we found out our entire Intake fees had been raised in just 4 weeks (the time we spent selling/giving away/packing our things)
  • He has given our family the time together we had been praying for
  • He has given us a way to minister together as a family, also something we had been praying for
  • We have been able to experience what living in community is like, including sharing our goods with each other
  • Felicity was given a beautiful birthday dress to wear and I was able to make a birthday cake from the things we had around the house
  • See the post I made about my birthday for a list of more blessings on our family 
I have realized how much we didn't need all the things we had and that God has provided us with everything we need. We have the MOST important thing and that is the knowledge of God's love and the hope of our salvation. If I had the nicest house, car, clothes, job, lots of money, etc. it wouldn't get me to heaven and it would not fulfill my deepest desire to know God. In giving away the material things we had become attached to we have found so much freedom, peace and joy for how much God has blessed our family. Our things had only provided temporary happiness, but our faith provides everlasting joy!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Holyween Celebration

We celebrated Holyween last week and all of us dressed like saints. We had a lot of fun putting together costumes by looking around Big Woods for supplies (sheets, pillow cases, cardboard, etc.).

Catherine was St. Kateri Tekawitha

Felicity was Blessed Jacinta Marta from Fatima.

Grace was St. Bernadette of Lourdes

Donovan went all the way with his costume and shaved his head. He was St. Dominic. I was St. Claire of Assisi.

Hannah was Saint Hannah (Samuel's mom, from the Old Testament).